Fattoria San Lorenzo
Third generation winemaker Natalino Crognaletti chooses to honor the biodiversity that's a hallmark of his family farm by adorning his labels with the animals that freely roam the estate. Elegant geese bedeck bottles of elegant white. Playful kittens invite you to try youthful reds, and mini-hares suggest tannin as rich as a fur coat.
Although Natalino vinifies excellent reds from mostly Sangiovese and Montepulciano, it's the white grape Verdicchio that shines at San Lorenzo. Natalino's father, Gino, made it his mission to fill the vineyards with the best clones of the grape, and the work paid off immensely. Today, Natalino is able to make five very diverse, and delicious, cuvées of Verdicchio, proving that the grape can be as bright and expressive as a young Riesling or as deep and richly aged as a vintage Chenin.
The estate is certified organic and practicing biodynamic, with bees, vegetable gardens, olives and a veritable petting zoo of barnyard creatures that prowl the property and help keep it healthy. Nestled next to the River Esino, this dreamland is also a mere 30km from the Adriatic Sea.
Fattoria San Lorenzo - Indie Wineries profile
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Verdicchio dei Castelli Jesi Classico "Le Oche"
Named after the geese that wander the rows of vines, this third Verdicchio expression is where San Lorenzo really starts to get unique. Taken from the most famous DOCG in Le Marche, these Verdicchio grapes take that subtle nuttiness of the Gino and expand it into a fat, oily richness that gives immense depth to the palate, while retaining the balancing citrus notes and sunny acidity.
The perfect white wine for meat dishes, and the perfect new grape to break the Chadonnay rut.
Rosso Piceno "Burello"
Named after the mini-hares that scamper amongst the vines, Burello is the higher tiered Rosso Piceno made by San Lorenzo. A blend of 60% Montepulciano and 40% Sangiovese that sees 18 months in oak, the wine delivers a full-bodied expression of bright red fruit and spicy tobacco edge.
This wine is as deep as a rabbit's den, and dare we say it, pairs well with Coniglio al Forno (that's roasted rabbit) or perhaps some simple Stracotto for the slightly more squeamish.
Sangiovese may find its way into vineyards all over Italy, but the true star red of Le Marche is Montepulciano. This is San Lorenzo's most special expression of the grape, named Solleone (big sun) after the vineyard that sits atop a hill basking in the sun all year. Full exposure and the longest growing season mean this wine achieves an incredible ripeness. The grapes are hand sorted, gently destemmed and foot trodden, left to age around 3 years in wood and another year in bottle.
When new, its dark and plummy with hints of moss and resin, the body loud with weight and tannin. A candidate for the cellar, this wine shows a lot of promise for those who exercise patience.
This cat likes to sun itself too. Using wine not quite expressive enough for the Solleone, La Gattara mixes 70% Montepulciano with 30% Sangiovese and is still a heavy-hitter with a large presence and tons of ripeness.
Juicy cherry fruit and colorful potpourri lead to a full-bodied mouthfeel with ample yet softer tannins. The less serious Montepulciano, this is more of a daily drinker, when your daily dinner leans towards stews and ribs.